Sheffielder Kate Wareham enjoying her return to ‘nicely-sized’ home city

Kate Wareham grew up in Sheffield and left at 18. Keen to experience life somewhere bigger, she first went to Manchester and subsequently London, where she lived and worked for 15 years as a professional fundraiser.

Monday, 1st June 2020, 12:00 pm

In 2016, now weary of the ‘really big’, Kate took on a distance learning MA at the University of Sheffield and moved to Amsterdam, only to return to the now ‘nicely-sized’ Sheffield two years later.

She works as a fundraiser freelance, is studying for a PhD in music psychology and lives in Crookes with her partner Jo and their two cats, Socks and Smudge.

Fulwood Old Chapel

Freelance fundraiser and music psychology student Kate Wareham

I grew up amongst choirs. My parents sang in the Sheffield Chorale and Abbeydale Singers and I sang all through school have ever since. I love it. Singing does something to the soul that is just delicious (I could explain this in more psychological terms, but delicious seems like a good word). Now I’m back in Sheffield, I’ve followed in my parent’s (and brother’s) footsteps and joined the Abbeydale Singers, which rehearses at Fulwood Old Chapel. I absolutely love it. They are a really top-notch choir, which makes singing with them a joy and a challenge in equal measure. There’s so much of my family history wrapped up in this choir and they were so supportive to my parents when my Dad was ill and later died of cancer, that I feel I owe a lot to this community of wonderful, gifted singers.

Two Sheds

Wherever I am I always like to have a local, where the people behind the bar know my face and eventually my name. Although I’ve only been in Crookes a short while, Two Sheds was quickly becoming a favourite corner for a pint and a tin of beer nuts. They had a weekly quiz, a great selection of beer, a cosy feel and the ability to hear each other talk. What’s not to like? I hope they are able to reopen soon.

Eyre Street

Two Sheds in Crookes

When I first came back to Sheffield I was saddened by the level of homelessness and the number of vulnerable people on our streets. After Amsterdam, where this was a much less common experience, I was shocked. At the time I was working for Depaul UK, a charity supporting homeless young people in Sheffield, Manchester, the North East and London. From a non-descript office building at the bottom of The Moor, I watched a dedicated team of youth support workers go out of their way to give young people in this city the chance of something better. They are heroes in my eyes.

Jessop Building

Throughout my childhood Jessops was where all my friends were born. When I returned to Sheffield, Jessops had become a wing of the Hallamshire and the original building had become the music department of the University of Sheffield - MY music department. When I’m in the building I sometimes think of my Mum arriving there as labour set in. I have my own extended birthing process as a part-time PhD student. It will be a long time coming but the support of the staff in the department, and particularly Prof Nikki Dibben, my supervisor has been fantastic. I’m proud to be part of such a well-respected department.

Crucible Studio

Whilst still in Amsterdam, I started working for Music in the Round doing a bit of digital marketing. When I applied, I remembered Music in the Round affectionately from my youth as a centre for many of the exciting projects I’d been involved in as an aspiring musician. Things like the Young Performers Platform were particularly influential and I am so pleased that this buzzy youth music scene is being continued by organisations like the City of Sheffield Youth Orchestra and Sheffield Youth Orchestra, Sheffield Music Hub, the academy and music school. Now as an adult, the Crucible has become the home to some of the most spine-tinglingly brilliant concerts I’ve ever experienced. To sit that close to the world-class musicians as they play is an opportunity I’m lucky to have on my doorstep. And now, Music in the Round and the Crucible have a new meaning for me. It’s where I met my Jo.